Tag Archives: New Music

The Shortlist – August 27, 2016

The Best New Music Every Week

This week is full of chill, atmospheric jams with a few bangers here and there, so plug in this playlist and wind down from a long week.

5edd8a864e0731e44f499de47ed74e5582b204e0Dawes – When the Tequila Runs Out

The California-based Americana act, Dawes, are set to release their fifth studio album next month and this lead single finds the band expanding their sound with more electronic groove and a driving bass backbone.


8d205154821bb17a389ffc32714a522f4341788aKyle – Doubt It

Kyle’s flow is a refreshing diversion from what has become the standard lyrical structure but his attitude is what really sets him apart.  He has fun on “Doubt It” and it’s hard to not have fun with him.


02eb4b2b4a7a3145d9f337d5e231b16219ba462eGlass Animals – Season 2 Episode 3

Glass Animals are following up their critically acclaimed debut, Zaba, with a new, high concept project called How To Be A Human Being.  This single, which recalls classic 8-bit video game soundtracks, is cool, smooth, and a promising teaser for the new album.

b9cdc861cfa793b13fdaf5e2fd5d0e4a8f483c51Metallica – Hardwired

Metallica has a tortured past sprinkled with infighting, scandals, and wild diversions from the genre they helped create.  This new single hearkens back to the glory days though with strong thrash roots and and some stomach-churningly good guitar work.  If it’s any indication of the upcoming albums as a whole, it could be a magnificent return to form.


edbe418c20d213a931f3dfe762fc04d5f2ac5786Banks – Mind Games

Banks is delivering more of her practiced and honed pop sensibilities with strong vocals and production that lets the words speak louder.  This track clearly pulls influences from the new experimental-pop class of FKA Twigs, Lianne La Havas, et al. and the style suits Banks well.


d0ce7d2eedf692d27839a3436314f7f8b7aab982Tall Heights – Iron In The Fire

Tall Heights are a Boston based duo producing ethereal indie folk similar to Bon Iver and Local Natives.  They deliver something unique to the genre especially with their most recent album Neptune from which this single comes.  There’s a sincerity about the group that sets them apart.


1b15739fcd5200ad60ed5803dcac7a1550d86abcBall Park Music – Whipping Boy

The atmospheric chorus filters enveloping every element of Ball Park Music’s sound make them more than just your usual indie power-pop band.  Their new project Every Night The Same Dream is dreamy guitar rock at its best.


a897166753c99841173cb93d4d5298153608d463SG Lewis – Holding Back (Feat. Gallant)

Gallant offers his whispy falsetto to SG Lewis’ groovy production on this track.  It has the wah-wah effect of classic funk but as the chorus comes in, it transitions to something closer to disco or 80’s blue-eyed soul.  It’s no party anthem, but it’s chilled out and doesn’t overstay its pleasantness.


7a6f7f7486ee2d59e50754bbd2ca606fb4a14757Danny Brown – Pneumonia 

The other major banger on this week’s playlist, Danny Brown’s latest single has a minimalist beat that relies mostly on surprising and aggressive accent hits.  Brown is at his grittiest here and the instrumental fittingly sounds like something out of a horror film.  It’s three and a half minutes of pure Danny Brown.


d501e1fdaa9ff08b1a9288d6d2609fe1a77c6b18courtship. – Stop For Nothing

I decided to end this playlist on a up note with the only existing track by LA duo courtship.  “Stop for Nothing” is a bouncy dancepop track with catchy synths and a great staggered bass line.  It’s a promising debut for a band that no one knows anything about, but at the very least, they know how to make a fun song.


Listen to the playlist below and follow Altwire for more

Album Review: Coldplay – Ghost Stories

Coldplay Cover

I’ve always been told that high expectations lead to high disappointments. Maybe I was expecting more from Coldplay’s latest album, Ghost Stories, released in May, 2014. I was expecting something different from what I’m used to and at first I was disappointed.  I’m a huge Coldplay fan & own every album. I remember when Parachutes came out; I did in fact have mix tapes from the radio with “Yellow” on them. What I failed to realize when I first popped this in was that this album is about a different journey. It took another taste of Ghost Stories to realize what this was and how brilliant it is. Fourteen years after Parachutes, Coldplay delivers an album that is crammed with emotion. Chris Martin is a genius when it comes to being able to soothe our souls with his voice. He can take us to a different reality, fix our anguish, misplace our minds for the length of the album without hesitation.

There are mixed feelings about this album from fans and critics alike, but I think we fail to realize that personally, Martin has been battling his own issues with the separation from Gwyneth Paltrow. We are traveling with him in a journey of heartache. This album incorporates his pains. His sufferings. So yes, it might be a bit somber than the overly colorful joy that was Mylo Xyloto. But bands like Coldplay have originality despite their lack of “fluff”. Their ability to have an exclusive sound yet create a dissimilar album than what they’ve crafted in the past 14 years is singular. Ghost Stories is a different side of Coldplay we have never seen before, still reminiscent of their true nature, still absolutely awesome.


Guy Berryman, Will Champion, Chris Martin, Jonny Buckland

These ballads are still full of whimsical elegance which I believe to be a Coldplay signature. With producers such as Timbaland and Avicii we get a construct of music that is indeed full of emotion.  Tracks like “True Love”, you get the taste of Timbaland; the subtle beat boxing mixed with a hint of drums being led by Will Champion, and the cries of an elaborate orchestra, all wrapped with the tenderness of Martin’s voice: “I’ve lost you now, You Let Me Go, But One Last Time, Tell me you love me, if you don’t, then lie…” You feel the guitar’s crescendo in the core of your soul. It’s the power in the lyric as well as in the instrumentals. Jonny Buckland and Guy Berryman have such a great technique with the guitar and bass. It’s engulfing. What makes Coldplay so great is that in the juxtaposition of so many elements, their albums never sound overwhelming. There are still upbeat tracks such as Skies Full of Stars, produced by Timbaland and Avicii, we first experience a lovely piano instrumental intro, EDM influences in the mixing, slowly building up, and bam! We get an explosion of creativity and a lively sound pulsating through the waves; it would be hard for listeners to not nod their head with the beat.

So this album isn’t quite what you expected. That is the beauty in Coldplay. They brought us an album that was probably difficult to create with beauty in the pain. This is why they continue to make great music fourteen years after their first studio release. So, it might not be happy, you might be a bit bummed that this album is making you bummed. Or quite possibly, this could be an album to facilitate in a tough spot. Coldplay keeps über fans like me happy and content. There are no flashy gimmicks in Ghost Stories. It’s an album of conquest. You vs. the heart.  You win.